They have identified that blogs are influential in shopping decisions and want to make sure that consumers are able to make informed decisions on their purchases – if a blog is really well written, then it may be difficult for a non blogging reader to know that things like “in collaboration” or “kindly provided by” means “I was given this to review” or “I was paid to review this”.
The CMA have put together some really useful resources for both the brands and bloggers at the above link – the more relevant things to bloggers are the guide on being open and honest with your audience (always a good thing!) and an open letter to bloggers and publishers which lays out the concerns that have brought about these requirements.
Combined with the advice that Google has given recently about how they want things to be disclosed, it’s getting more and more easy for bloggers to be explicit about whether they have been compensated in some way. When brands are requesting that you don’t disclose a collaboration, it’s great that if you’re not happy with doing that, you’re able to point out that this will have a negative effect for both your blog and the brand – and potentially proscecution
What do you think? Is it a good idea for government agencies to be getting involved? Do you think this will make working with brands and disclosing that fact easier or harder?